Prolucent Health, a Dallas-based provider of healthcare workforce optimization software and services, has raised $11.5 million in new Series A funding.
Launched in August 2020 by healthtech entrepreneur Bruce Springer, the startup wants to revolutionize the way the healthcare industry connects workers and employers. The company uses tech, artificial intelligence, and analytics to meet workforce needs.
Prolucent Health plans to use the fresh capital to expand its sales, marketing, and client services teams. It also wants to broaden its product capabilities—the startup operates tools dedicated to meeting and managing the healthcare industry’s evolving workforce needs.
The Series A investment round was co-led by SpringTide Ventures, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based VC firm for healthtech startups, and Health Velocity Capital, a San Francisco firm that says it invests in the healthcare industry’s market leaders and “firsts.” Additional participation came from UnityPoint Health Ventures.
Springer, who is co-founder and CEO of Prolucent Health, said the startup’s investors have a track record of success that will be “invaluable” in advancing the company’s mission.
The investors also share the startup’s vision for smart, transparent healthcare workforce solutions that can reduce overall labor costs for healthcare systems, Springer said in a statement.
With the deal, SpringTide Ventures Co-Founder and Managing Partner Austin Walters and Health Velocity Capital Principal Grant Blevins will join Prolucent Health’s board of directors.
Solving labor challenges in healthcare—on both ends
Prolucent’s services are powered by Liquid Compass. The company’s launch last year included the acquisition of the recruitment and talent engagement platform.
The startup’s end-to-end solutions use technology, AI, and advanced analytics combined with geolocation to improve the cost of healthcare labor. They also overcome recruitment challenges: “We’re determined to make it easy for healthcare workers and employers to find each other,” the firm writes on its website.
That means creating a two-fold solution that can solve challenges on both sides of the hiring process, aligning the interests of both employers and workers to meet the supply and demand of labor.
Prolucent Health aims to help healthcare workers find the right job. Its AI-driven labor marketplace, which Prolucent says is the largest for accessing available healthcare jobs, offers the ability to easily apply for new opportunities and better manage careers.
Prolucent promotes more than four million open positions annually from 30,000 healthcare employers across the U.S. More than 500,000 clinicians are registered on the Liquid Compass platform.
For healthcare employers, Prolucent aims to optimize recruitment and workforce management. The startup’s services are dedicated to driving applicant volume and conversion rates for direct talent acquisition, expanding the utilization of internal flexible labor pools, and managing contingent labor for higher quality and lower costs.
The tech also offers real-time data to deploy actionable decision-making for healthcare HR and clinical hiring managers.
“Over the last six months, we at Health Velocity Capital have heard from most of our strategic health system investors that labor management is one of their key priorities,” Blevins said in a statement. “[Prolucent] provides the only technology-enabled product that integrates into the existing workflow and manages full-time, part-time, and contingent labor pools; enables hiring managers to determine the optimal needs at the appropriate cost; and drastically improves their ability to fill those roles in a timely manner.”
Addressing ‘an urgent need’
Springer sees an urgent need for cost-effective and sustainable workforce solutions, one that was only magnified by the pandemic.
As the labor shortage intensifies and worsens due to the changing needs of workers, he said, hospitals and health systems need streamlined ways to connect with, access, and manage the talent they need.
Those shortages primarily exist across front-line and nursing jobs. Prolucent cites the “2021 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report,” which shows that hospital are experiencing an extremely high turnover in nurses. In 2020, the turnover rate for staff nurses increased by 2.8%. It currently sits at 18.7%.
At the same time, hospitals are being hit with high vacancy rates. This leads to the hiring of “more expensive contract nurses to fill labor gaps and find new models for engaging, recruiting, and retaining nursing talent,” according to Prolucent.
The NSI report estimates that for every 20 travel nurses eliminated, a hospital can save an average of just over $3 million.
Finding healthcare workforce solutions that work
Springer and his team of seasoned healthcare technology executives are now hyperfocused on innovation and thoughtful disruption.
The goal: Ensure “this abnormally high level of workforce demand in healthcare is met with solutions that work.”
“Now more than ever, the healthcare labor management market is ripe for innovation, and in need of talent solutions that leverage artificial intelligence and analytics to help inform critical decision making,” Walters said in a statement. “We’re eager to partner with Bruce and the Prolucent team and believe their vision of transforming workforce management with intelligent automation will drive considerable economic value in healthcare.”
Quincy Preston contributed to this report.
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